Paul L. Caron

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Obama Lacks Capitol Hill Chops to Push Through Tax Reform

Bloomberg, Obama Tax Rewrite Challenged by ’Missing Relationships’:

The Obama administration doesn’t have the type of rapport with congressional leaders that would be necessary to complete a U.S. tax-code overhaul, said Michael Mundaca, a former assistant Treasury secretary for tax policy. “What we’re missing is the relationships between the administration and leaders on the Hill that can move this forward. ...  You need very strong cross-aisle and cross-branch cooperation and we haven’t seen that yet.”

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Who or what could get anything done with the Tea Party dominated House of Representatives? Which of the eight "candidates" running for the GOP nomination has the "chops" to get tax reform legislation through the House or Senate? Which of the eight has not already signed away his or her discretion on taxes to Grover Norquist?

Posted by: Publius Novus | Oct 17, 2011 8:59:42 AM

Mundaca is one to talk. He had terrible relationships with almost everyone on the hill and was largely seen as an incompetent hack. It was his job to grease tax reform, and he got nowhere. It's absolutely unfair to turn around and blame the president because he couldn't do his job.

Posted by: SenateTaxGuy | Oct 16, 2011 7:17:14 AM

COngressionial leaders have absolutely no interest in working with Obama. Obama has demonstrated his willingness to compromise to the point of upsetting his base, e.g. abandoning single payer, adopting a republican model for his health care reform act, and signing the Bush tax breaks in Dec. 2010 are but three examples. The blame falls squarely on Republicans in both Houses of Congress who made clear that they will hold the government hostage time and time again due to their refusal to surrender ... oh, I mean compromise.

Posted by: BNS | Oct 16, 2011 6:52:47 AM

Chops aren't the only thing this dude lacks. Among the other traits absent from his character are: humility, any capacity for self-reflection, curiosity, respect for any opinions different from his own, and any semblance of shame. Just to name a few.

Congressional Democrats' blatant willingness to ignore him and his never-ending demands on them--which they recognize are uniformly in the service of Barack, not the Democratic party--speaks to more than their lack of a personal attachment to the man. It also shows that they are not the least bit afraid that he is capable of hurting them politically. This dude is so sold on his own magnificence that he doesn't even notice when he's being treated like the proverbial annoying high school dork.

Dude sure acts stupid for somebody who's supposed to be so "brilliant".

In the immortal words of the wise and powerful Instapundit: "Heh".

Posted by: Mike-n-Ike | Oct 15, 2011 6:38:28 PM

"You need very strong cross-aisle and cross-branch cooperation and we haven’t seen that yet.”

We also haven't seen or heard any discussion of any meaningful change for better or worse; just a tax increase on you know who. Any cross-aisle exchanges just now would likely just be the shooting of spit balls.

Posted by: willis | Oct 15, 2011 5:28:17 PM

Why don't we just take the tax code back to 1986 in one swell foop and call it a day? It wasn't perfect but it was way better than what we have now, and there would be no tricks or secret negotiations or payoffs - just go back to the "showdown at Gucci Gulch" bill letter for letter (or as close as reasonably possible.)

Posted by: Mahon | Oct 15, 2011 5:18:20 PM

What I don't get is why did anybody think Obama actually had the chops to do much of anything other than run for office? He's done nothing in life but hang out in school, do a brief bit of lawyering, and then more hanging out in school as a low-end academic while writing books about his thoughts while hanging out in school - followed by running for office several times. Nothing in this resume indicates any executive skills or policy successes.

Posted by: Foobarista | Oct 15, 2011 4:50:46 PM

Obama is a socialist-Marxist ideologue who hasn't the slightest idea how businesses function, grow or fail. He is totally clueless in Basic Economics or Business 101.

There isn't any way he could ideologically do anything but TAX and SPEND and push for more Federal Regulation/s and Central Control of our economy.

He won't listen, is incapable of learning from his experience/s of failure, and is only interested in staying in office beyone 2012.

We will only begin growing again economically WHEN HE IS GONE.

Posted by: jgreene | Oct 15, 2011 4:20:31 PM

What's the evidence that the President has any interest in passing 1986-style bipartisan tax reform? He's interested in raising rates on earners at the upper end of the scale and giving temporary and targeted breaks to the middle class. Period.

Posted by: Jeff | Oct 15, 2011 3:41:30 PM

Tax reform AND entitlement reform. Where money comes from will always be tied to where it goes. Unless the spending gets under control, tax reform will be smoke and mirrors. Perhaps we'll see a program to tie the two together, like Moynihan's negative income tax for those whose deductions exceed income. Given a large enough persoal deduction, this could replace welfare. Given exemptions for education and healthcare, this could replace the massive wasteful programs in these areas. Given unlimited IRAs this could replace Social security. I challenge readers of this blog to expand their vision to encompass reform of the other side of the taxation coin. Who among you seriously expects to have reform of one side without the other?

Posted by: tom beebe st louis | Oct 15, 2011 3:36:25 PM

I can't even imagine what wouldn't/couldn't get done with a 2nd term. What a potential waste of 4 years.

Posted by: Optimus Primed | Oct 15, 2011 3:28:17 PM

Jeez, didn't see that one coming when we elected a completely unknown entity with almost no experience doing anything substantial.

Posted by: anon | Oct 15, 2011 1:04:53 PM